Today marks my fifth day of being Facebook-less.
Ever since I deleted my account from the very popular social network, I’ve been asked about my decision by friends, colleagues, siblings and a friend of a friend of a friend whom I’ve had a total of two hours of human contact with. Most of them understood and others looked at me strangely, as if to say, “That’s like not having a social security number.”
My decision wasn’t an impulsive one. For months, I’d thought about — to use a “Matrix” reference — taking the red pill and returning to reality. I know my social life will get a hard hit to the gut, as I won’t be invited to parties and other gatherings as much. But: boo freakin’ hoo! I know that it’ll be that much harder for someone to reach me, but I truly believe my close friends and family members know how to work a cell phone.
My decision can be broken down into two main reasons: 1. Facebook was becoming a hard-to-kick habit; and 2. Facebook has made us all less human, especially me.
Last weekend, I was in San Diego for Comic-Con. I had a night out with friends from three different states, including New York and Georgia. After dinner, I found myself on my BlackBerry for just a few minutes. I wanted to see the response I garnered from a recent status update. Honestly, it was an innocent move. It was a digital zone out, similar to the mental zone outs people have when they’re listening to a boring story. But one of my friends asked me, “What are you doing?”
And I said, “Checking to see how many ‘likes’ I have.”
Immediately, I knew I had to quit Facebook.
I’m not saying Facebook is bad for humans, in general. I’m saying it’s not right for me at this juncture of my life. I believe I’ve lost a grip on reality, and that taking myself out of a conversation to check to see what kind of dinner my friends had was necessary. But really, it isn’t.
I found myself in the middle of the night checking my Facebook. I found myself sneaking a Facebook view during my dental visits, when my dentist left the room for a quick moment. And I found myself posting something random, something meaningless at dinner.
My other reason is that Facebook is a big player in our friendships. Therefore, that makes us less human. At the same time, I thank Facebook for helping me reunite with a few friends from high school. At the same time, I despise Facebook for reminding that I’m not that kind of friend to certain people. In some cases, I found out I was at the same social event but neither party make the effort to meet up. The last one is hurtful, the way we manage our friendships. I’m not that kind of person.
This might sound like I’m complaining, but I believe I’m not. Nor am I trying to lead some kind of movement. Facebook is a gift to many people. I enjoy making friends and maintaining friendships the old-fashioned way: face-to-face.
In other words, I’m doing just fine without Facebook.
To contact Chhun Sun, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 634-9141 ext. 2041.